ADL WELCOMES POLISH CHURCH'S SUSPENSION OF
FATHER HENRY JANKOWSKI FOR ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS
New York, NY, November 4, 1997...The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today
welcomed the Polish Church's decision to suspend Father Henry Jankowski
from preaching for one year due to his anti-Semitic remark against Poland's
Jewish community earlier this month. This latest statement by Father Jankowski
is only one in a long series of anti-Semitic comments by him over the past
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
The Church's decision to suspend Father Jankowski has been
long awaited. Father Jankowski has an extremely troubling history of anti-Jewish
hostility and anti-Semitism. We welcome his suspension as a signal that
the Church is taking very seriously its reckoning of its historically troubled
relationship with Jews.
It is significant that the Polish Church's decision regarding
Father Jankowski comes on the heels of a speech last week by Pope John
Paul II during the Vatican's symposium on the "Roots of anti-Judaism in
Christian Circles" in which he vigorously condemned the use of New Testament
texts as a pretext for anti-Judaism in teaching and preaching.
We hope that the Polish Church's important decision regarding
Father Jankowski will set a precedent for the future.
Previous statements by Father Jankowski include a statement to his congregation
in June 1995, with Polish President Lech Walesa in attendance, that members
of the Polish government have secret allegiances to Israel or Russia, and
that the Jewish Star of David was part of the Nazi swastika and the communist
hammer and sickle. In December 1995, during a meeting at his Church, Father
Jankowski said, "I have nothing to apologize for my [anti-Jewish] words...Why
shouldn't we talk about such things as the murder of Germans by Jews? Why
may we not talk about the Jewish-communist administration that governs
Poland today? The reason is that they have banks, and everything else in
ADL has been urging the Church to take official action against Father
Jankowski since his remarks in June 1995.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.